Entrust Datacard


It has been nearly a year since I left california and started hunting for jobs in Minnesota, and I must say I couldn’t be happier. Entrust Datacard has given me many chances to prove my worth as an engineer. This document will highlight some of the tasks I have completed while working at Entrust Datacard(EDC).


Initially I was hired as a firmware engineer to work on EDC’s most widley used printing platform. However not long after my employment a need arised for a “RFID Tag Czar”, someone who could quickly and easily take on the full range of responsibilites with the RFID tags used by our printing supplies. I was of course estatic to be given the opportunity to showcase my skills as an engineer who could be the lead developer for a large portion of our supplies business.

After accepting the job responsibilites I was quickly thrown into the deepend. There was a backlog of work that needed to go get finished and there was minimal documentation on how to accomplish it. I worked cross departmentally to quickly get up to speed on our products and the way they were used. By the end of my second week much of the major maintance work was finished. This meant I was now free to tackle other issues that were being seen with our RFID tags, including a failure rate of 5%-10%.

Reduction in RFID tag failures

I of course cannot go into specifics, but can say that in order to fix the problem I had to take ownership of 2 different code bases and fix both firmware and software. The systems were not properly reporting errors and therefore when communication was lost the tag would be “broken”, and we had no way to fix it because there was 0 error handeling.

I immediatly began identify the errors, and determining where in the programming process they were being broken. After Identifying the several differnt points of failure I than began fixing the software to handle fixing these errrors when they were detected. However the firmware with which this software communicated was not setup to handle these new error commands and therefore it too had to be modified. This was an on going problem for 3 months, however at the end of 3 months the number of fixable errors was down to below 0.5%.

Multihopper System

After having proven myself as a good SME (System Matter Expert) for our RFID side of the business I was given a new project along with one other programmer. The new system was a ground up development using a new (to the company) RTOS and several bare metal developments. Our goal was to create new hardware that would take the current single model of cardstock and allow for up ro 9 different card stocks be used with no interaction from a human.

I was tasked with working directly with the mechanical and electrical team to prototype card picking systems up and running. by the time the product launched we wanted to make sure we had picked 10,000+ cards using our new system. I worked with the mechanical team to implement stepper motor ramp tables that could be easily changed for testing.

Myself and the other engineer designed a ground up system architecture using Interrupts and the built in messaging ques of the RTOS. To this day the system has proven to be modular and allow for future development while also having the lowest customer complaints of any product launched in the last 5 years.

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Published: March 20 2016

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